The Old Port neighborhood of Portland takes up only about six blocks but it’s the living, beating heart of the city. Once the city’s shipping port, it is now Portland’s number one spot for nightlife and shopping. This transformation has spilled over from the neighborhood’s cobbled streets and restored 19th century buildings to the surrounding areas, which are almost as dense with restaurants and stores as the Old Port.
Indeed, most of the top restaurants of this food-obsessed city—many of which have had James Beard Award nominees at the helm or have been recipients of the prestigious nomination themselves—can be found within a couple of blocks of the Old Port, including Fore Street and the venerable Hugo’s. For a more low-key option, the city’s very best no-fuss, no-frills diners are also located in or around the Old Port such as Becky’s Diner where fishermen come to breakfast in the wee hours of the morning or the excellent Marcy’s Diner (make sure to try the grilled blueberry muffin).
Anyone who feels like recreating a fine dining experience at home will be glad to know that the Browne Trading Market is just one block away from the neighborhood. This is where you can go shopping for the very uni or Maine sea urchins that are served in the top restaurants across the nation. The Public Market House is also conveniently located one block up for grocery shopping. It features several stores such as a bakery and a specialty foods store in addition to the daily tables displaying a continuously changing assortment of local products. The Market House is also the location of the weekly farmer’s market.
There simply is no better place for a night out in Portland than the Old Port, which is probably why the neighborhood sees an influx of revelers during weekends. Maine’s excellent local beers can be sampled at any of the Old Port pubs and there are plenty of venues for live music.
Daytime activities are just as numerous and interesting. An afternoon can be spent visiting art galleries or kayaking or maybe just walking around and taking in the briny air of the Old Port. There’s plenty to see—the area is overflowing with fashionable boutiques and unique shops selling locally made products. There’s Rabelais, for fine books on food and wine, and Sea Bags for where you can design your own handmade tote out of recycled used sails.
And then of course, living in Old Port comes with all the advantages of Portland, which has consistently placed within the top ranks of cities for quality of life.
Useful links for the Old Port:
Public Market House: http://www.publicmarkethouse.com/
Browne Trading Company: http://www.brownetrading.com/
Sea Bags: http://www.seabags.com/
Fore Street (restaurant): http://www.forestreet.biz/
Becky’s Diner: http://www.beckysdiner.com/
Do you have questions about living and working in the Old Port or the Greater Portland area? Please contact us at The Hatcher Group and we will be happy to assist you!
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